The next big culture shift in consumer technology is clearly home automation. Over the next two or three years, a dizzying array of home appliances and devices will connect up with your phone and TV box to make everything 'smart' (which, let's face it, is a euphemism for 'more fun but also more expensive and complex'). In fact, 'home automation' isn't a great name because manual control of household objects is a major benefit. So let's call it 'smartification.' As with all mainstream technologies -- including PCs, laptops, mobile phones, tablets and now wearables -- smartification is something that has existed for years as a technical hobby.
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Now, it's about to become something ubiquitous. [ Related: ] Soon, everybody will be rushing to CostCo, BestBuy and Amazon.com to buy doorbells that connect with your smartphone to show you who's at the door, lights that can turn any color, coffee pots that brew based on the traffic and hundreds of other smart products. The mainstreaming of this category begins this week -- I'll get to that in a minute. But first let's be clear about what 'home automation' is and how it's changing. Company portal app preview for mac.